Yesterday I took my grandmother to the hospital to have a pre-operation tests conducted. I was nervous and eager to make sure everything was right (to a fault). When we got in the taxi my grandmother said “my god are you antsy”.

At the hospital she was being contrarian. If I would turn left, she would insist it was right. She’d screech out what are you doing? in the most annoyed voice when I did something she did not understand. She’d slap my hand when I tried to reach out and help her fetch something from her purse. She’d shut me up when I answered a question to which the answer she didn’t know.

Though I kept cool through the ordeal, I was very tense. When we sat down for coffee I scanned my body and I found many muscles contracted. I released them, I felt the tip of my fingers on my hands and my feet, and I breathed consciously.

Opossums sometimes play dead when they are scared. Suppose you found one lying on the street. In order to find if it is alive, you would probably poke it with a stick. You see the opossum twitch. It is alive. A child would poke it to see how much pain it could handle before reacting in some one. However, in this case, running off or biting back is not an option. So it was better to upend my playing dead game.

Another way to see it is that the emotions thrown at you are bounced back if you put a wall in front of yourself. You need the emotional state to come through you without damaging you. Handling the situation with calmness rather than tolerance made my grandmother calm down herself.

After coming back home and having a nap, grandma woke up in a much better mood and didn’t even mention the hospital ordeal. If I do things right or wrong, if experiences are positive or unpleasant, it wont matter, things are experienced and then forgotten. If I hold any grudge, the poison is for me, not for her.